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At Invitation of King Salman, Chinese President to Kick off Visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday 

At Invitation of King Salman, Chinese President to Kick off Visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday 

Three summits to be held, 30 heads of state to attend, deals worth 29 billion dollars to be signed.
Wednesday, 7 December, 2022 - 06:00
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a pas visit to Riyadh. (SPA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping will kick off an official three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday at the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.  


The visit will boost the historic ties and strategic partnership between their countries.  


King Salman and Xi will preside over a Saudi-Chinese summit with the participation of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.  


 Visit agenda 


The Saudi-Chinese, Riyadh-Gulf-Chinese and the Riyadh-Arab-Chinese cooperation and development summits will be held during Xi’s visit. 


Over 30 international leaders and organizations are set to attend, reflecting the importance of these summits on the regional and international levels. 


Over 40 preliminary agreements in the private and public sectors will be signed on the sidelines of the Saudi-Chinese summit. The agreements are valued at over 110 billion riyals (29.3 billion dollars). 


A document on the strategic partnership between the Kingdom and China will be signed. An agreement related to both Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road initiative will be signed. 


Officials will also declare the launch of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman award for cultural cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China. 


80 years of relations 


Diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and China have been witnessed marked growth. They are moving forward at a rapid pace towards achieving greater cooperation and understanding in various fields and for their mutual benefit. 


Relations between them were established 80 years ago and covered various aspects of cooperation. They were limited to trade relations and welcoming Chinese pilgrims in the Kingdom to perform the Hajj and Umrah. 


Relations were formally normalized in 1990 when Riyadh and Beijing agreed to establish full diplomatic ties and exchange ambassadors. 


Partnership 


Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed, is keen on developing bilateral relations with China as part of the Kingdom’s strategic approach in bolstering ties with all influential countries and international powers. It is keen on establishing balanced ties that would achieve the goals of the Kingdom and protect its interests. 


The high-level Saudi-Chinese committee, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed and China’s Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng, has been leading efforts to increase political and security cooperation and bolstering cooperation in trade, investment, energy, technology and culture. 


Top partner 


China is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth $87.3 billion in 2021. Chinese exports to Saudi Arabia reached $30.3 billion, while China's imports from the Kingdom totaled $57 billion. 


Saudi Arabia is China's top oil supplier, making up 18% of China's total crude oil purchases, with imports totaling 73.54 million tons (1.77 million barrels a day) in the first 10 months of 2022, worth $55.5 billion, Chinese customs data shows. 


Oil imports last year amounted to 87.56 million tons, worth $43.9 billion, making up 77% of China's total merchandise imports from Saudi Arabia. 


State-run Saudi Aramco has annual supply deals with half a dozen Chinese refiners including Sinopec, CNPC, CNOOC, Sinochem, Norinco as well as private refiner Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp. 


Saudi utility developer ACWA Power, partly owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, said in September that it agreed with Silk Road Fund to jointly invest in a 1.5 gigawatt (GW) gas-fueled power plant in Uzbekistan for $1 billion, part of Beijing's One Belt One Road initiative. 


State-run China Energy Engineering Corp (CEEC) is building a 2.6-GW solar power station in Al Shuaiba in Saudi Arabia, also owned by ACWA Power, the Middle East's largest solar project. 


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